Great Exhibition of the North

We’re Going South! The Great Exhibition of the North

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This summer Great Britain will experience a resurgence! The cities and towns in the North of England are joining forces to showcase their talent. Visitors (and locals) are flocking to Newcastle and Gateshead to experience 80 days of art, design and innovation around the city. We (Gemma and Craig) are going South to see what kind of show our English friends are putting on at the Great Exhibition of the North. Many of the exhibitions and events are not only free but also solo, couple and family friendly.

What is the Great Exhibition of the North?

What is it not! The Great Exhibition of the North is a series of events and exhibitions which take over the English city of Newcastle and the town of Gateshead this summer. There are three trails – art, design, and innovation. Each trail takes visitors a different route through the city stopping at landmarks and shows which complement the topic.

As well as the three trails, there are three ‘hubs’ which host their own programme of events and also feature in the trails. The hubs are based at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Sage Gateshead, and the Great North Museum.

Great Exhibition of the North map

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art

Just like Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle, Gateshead’s BALTIC is the cool place to be. There are a number of art events and installations running throughout the summer, celebrating Northern visual art. Examples of work include Phil Collins, the Turner Prize nominee’s film about Engels. I’m particularly looking forward to the ‘Idea of North’ photography exhibition which focuses on the women of the North.

BALTIC is a good starting point for the art and innovation trail too.

  • Address: S Shore Rd, Gateshead NE8 3BA

Sage Gateshead

Do you think I can talk Craig into attending a karaoke event on the Saturday night? I love karaoke and he loves me so I hope so… The Great Northern Songbook isn’t actually cheesy songs sung by sweaty punters full of sugary cocktails, there’s a twist! The Great Northern All Star Band (featuring Field Day) invites local artists to entertain the Sage Gateshead with Northern songs chosen by the crowd!

Other events include a week of live music (June 22nd to July 1st) hosted by Sunderland-born Lauren Laverne. Acts such as Roisin Murphy and Vessels (Leeds) will be joining the Great Northern Soundtrack list.

Get in the band

Are any of our readers based in the North and also play music? Check out this event called Get in the Band for your chance to join 99 other bandmates during three performances! I’ll hopefully be in the audience on the 23rd. Tell me if I am looking out for you! Sign up here.

  • Address: St Mary’s Square, Gateshead Quay NE82JR

Sage Gateshead Great Exhibition of the North

Great North Museum

Experience the revolutionary North under one roof with Which Way North which celebrates the Northern pioneers from inventors to engineers, scientists and designers. The space geek, Craig, will be seeking out the space suit here, worn by the first British astronaut in space… a woman (Sheffield-born Helen Shaman). How sweet is this – the exhibition called To the Moon and Back after the children’s book Guess How Much I Love You which was drawn by Anita Jerman while studying in Manchester. I’m welling up. Check out the rest of the exhibitions at the Great North Museum here.

  • Address: Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne NE2 4PT

Great Exhibition of the North Love You To the Moon and Back

When is the Exhibition on?

The dates for the summer event kick off with the opening weekend of June 22nd 2018 and ends on 9th September 2018. Will we see you there? Don’t miss out on Exhibition news by signing up for the newsletter. You can also use the search function to see all event details by clicking the image below. You can save events that take your fancy too. Follow #getnorth2018 for more inspiration from the North of England.

Great Exhibition of the North search


I am buzzing about being a part of the Great Exhibition of the North and it is an absolute honour to review their opening weekend. The cities we warm to the most are the ones with community at its core and the Exhibition is just that. Organisers invite everyone to participate and if they can’t make it to the city in person they can cast a vote for their favourite Northern song (Girls Aloud?)!

Like it? Tell others by adding to your England Pinterest board

Great Exhibition of the North Festival Newcastle England

Comments or questions?
Please leave them below

Disclaimer: We have been invited by the Newcastle and Gateshead to review the Exhibition. As always, opinions are our own and we are genuinely excited.

Comments 4

  1. Really cool Gemma. And it is going down at peak summer time, meaning rocking weather for the event. Looking forward to leaving NZ in a few weeks only for the weather; leaving the cold temps to head to summer time NJ works for me. Thanks for sharing.

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      Excitement levels are HIGH! June is pretty sweet for us. I have a hen/bachelorette party then the Exhibition then Craig’s birthday! Surprise trip, going to see how long I can keep him in the dark. Eeeee. I’ve only been to the North Island NZ and the weather was meh! NJ, New Jersey?

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